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Best Bike Lock of 2022: Strong and Practical

Litelok Core Preview: Lightweight Diamond Rated Security?

Last Updated on June 26, 2022 4 Comments

With the introduction of Sold Secure’s Diamond rating in 2020, the top tier of bicycle lock security got a lot more exclusive. Diamond rated bike locks represent the most secure bike locks you can buy.

And as we know, with greater security comes greater weight and also, to some extent, less practicality. So it’s no surprise that Diamond rated locks are some of the heaviest and unwieldy locks around.

However, Litelok are about to step into the fray with a new offering, the Litelok Core, which promises Diamond rated security, at a weight that’s not excessive and with various lengths that will give you loads of locking and carrying options.

So I got hold of a pre-production model to see how it’s likely to work out in the street!

Litelok Core Unboxed

A 100 cm Litelok Core

The model that I’ve been testing is the 100W, a wearable version that has a 100 cm (39”) circumference and which weighs 2 kg (4 lb).

Unfortunately, the 100W was slightly too big for me to wear around my waist, so I couldn't test that, but the wearable version will come in three different sizes, which means you should be able to find one that does fit!

I’ve previously tested the Litelok Gold Original and the Litelok Silver wearable. However, I’ve never used the Litelok Gold Wearable which seems to be the closest in terms of form and function to the Core. So there were a few surprises.

Once the Litelok Core has been released to the market, I’ll test it fully and write a comprehensive review. But here are my first impressions after using the pre-production model for a few days...

1. It’s very secure

I don’t have to take a crowbar or a giant set of cable cutters to the Core to know this. Sold Secure have already done it and they’ve awarded the Core a Diamond rating. This puts it in rarefied company.

Currently there are very few bike locks that make the Diamond grade. And they’re the most secure locks you can get.

2. It gives you loads of locking opportunities

The 100 cm locking circumference is massive. Often when I’m out testing locks, it’s a struggle to find places other than bike racks where I’m able to secure my bike. With the Litelok Core it was a struggle to find places I couldn’t lock my bike.

Litelok Core around a fat streetlight

I couldn't find a street sign that I couldn't lock my bike to!

I was able to get the Litelok around every lamppost, traffic light, street sign and telegraph pole in my area.

3. It’s easier to use than previous Liteloks

With the Litelok Original, the tall, “belt like” band could be difficult to get through the spokes of your wheels. The band of the Litelok Core is more “rope like” in shape. So it’s shorter, making it much easier to pass between your spokes.

Litelok Core around 2 bikes

Locking two bikes in a busy bike rack was pretty easy

Plus the way that it’s pre-shaped into a hoop (unlike the Original), and can be locked without the keys (by simply clicking the ends together), means that it’s much quicker and easier to get it secured around your bike.

4. Lightness is relative!

When you pick up a 100 cm Litelok Core, “wow, that’s a really lightweight lock” is not the first thing that comes to mind. That’s because at 2 kg (4 lb), it weighs slightly more than 5 cans of Coke.

But what you need to remember is that a Diamond rated chain lock that offers a similar locking circumference will be almost twice as heavy as this, making it completely unpractical for mobile security.

The shortest, lightest Litelok Core will be the 75 cm (29”) Flex-O. It’s not wearable at this length, but it weighs just 1.6 kg (3.5 lb), making it one of the lightest Diamond rated locks currently available.

In fact, only the Abus Granit X Plus 540 and the mini Pragmasis DIB are (just slightly) lighter, and neither of those will allow you to lock your bike in the same places that even the smallest Litelok Core will open up.

Wrapping Up

I’ve tested a lot of bike locks and the Litelok Core has really impressed me. Diamond rated security at this size and weight is unheard of, and the Core will bring much needed practicality to the top tier of bike locks.

Diamond level security at this size and weight is unheard of

Once it’s released to the market, I’ll test the final version for a longer period of time to get a better idea of what it’s like to use and carry around on a daily basis.

But the pre-production model certainly seems like it will be a great choice for those that need to very highest levels of security, without sacrificing the number of places they’ll be able to secure their bikes.

About the author 

Carl Ellis

I've had bikes stolen in London, New York and Barcelona. Yep, I was a serial, international, bike theft victim. In 2015 I decided to stop the rot. And not a single bike's been stolen since! Brakes, yes. Bells, yes. But they're another story. Everything I learn, I document on this website. More about my story. Contact me. LinkedIn.

  • Hi I’m thinking about the new Lite Lock Diamond ( have pledged on Kickstarter ) and watched your video …
    Are you familiar with the Lock Picking Lawyer YT channel and his video on the Lite Lock Gold showing how easy it was to cut ?
    Any comments on that or have you watched that ….

    Thanks !

    • Hi Ricky,

      Yes I’ve seen the Lock Picking Lawyer video. My thoughts are:

      1. The cable cutters he’s using are quite specialist. It’s highly unlikely a thief would be carrying these, unless they’re specifically targeting Liteloks (which again is unlikely).

      2. I disagree with his disagreement (in the comments at the top of the page) about it being much more difficult if the lock was actually locked high up (eg around the seatstay) on a bike. It would be.

      3. Bennetts have got a great video where they tackle this. https://youtu.be/YKO1yudGVNg. The Litelok section starts at 7.15. But I’d urge you to watch the whole video. It’s full of sensible headed analysis!

      Having said all that, yes for sure, the Litelok Gold can be defeated with manual tools which I think is instinctively disappointing for a Gold rated lock.

      But it’s certainly not alone in that. There are tons of other Gold rated locks that can also be defeated with manual tools (usually large bolt cutters).

      The problem is that Gold was (up until recently) the highest rating from Sold Secure and it actually included a large range of different security levels.

      The introduction of the top tier Diamond rating is therefore very welcome.

      And as I understand it, the Litlok Core (Diamond) was specifically designed in response to the Lock Picking Lawyer video. And I think a company that’s prepared to accept the limitations of their product and then make improvements is a really good thing.

      Hopefully the promotional videos that accompany the launch will be less bombastic than some of those they’ve used in the past. That it’s a Diamond rated bike lock should be enough.

      Cheers!

      Carl

  • Based on how vulnerable Litelok’s previous products have been to attacks there’s really little point this article. There’s videos of their products being broken open in seconds even without tools. Also the founder of the company is extremely litigious. Gets videos from Litelok customers who have had their bike stolen taken down. Only person he hasn’t managed to do that to is the LockPickingLawyer. For the weight of a 100cm Litelok Core i could instead use four TiGr Mini locks and actually be 300 grams lighter. And beware the Sold Secure ratings. Doesn’t make much sense that they would give it a Diamond rating and yet ART would give it a 3/5. The real danger of the Sold Secure and ART ratings is people not actually understanding what their use is. They’re for insurance purposes only. The Abus Granit X Plus 540 that you mention on this page as being a Diamond rated lock i once had to hire a locksmith to cut through and the two cuts took a combined thirty seconds and he commented after that he could of done so even faster. Just out of interest – The pre production model you were sent to try out, that come with the condition your not actually trying to break it open?

    • Hi Philippe,

      No conditions attached, but I don’t tend to try to break the locks open (Sold Secure and ART do a much better job than me). I test their usability, which is equally important.

      I’m pretty sure that both Sold Secure and ART were testing locks long before their ratings were used by insurance companies. So they’re not for insurance purposes only.

      Their purpose is to test the security levels of locks and then categorize those locks accordingly so that we can more easily choose a lock that matches our risk levels.

      The reason that Sold Secure give this lock a Diamond rating and ART a 3/5 makes sense if you understand the rating systems.

      The Sold Secure Diamond Bike rating is for “very high value bicycles and e-bikes”. ART 3/5 Stars is for “scooters and mopeds”.

      So both ratings indicate a higher level of protection. (ART 2/5 Stars is for regular bicycles).

      I presume Abus Granit X Plus 540 was cut with a angle grinder? Every bike lock (except the new Hiplok) can be cut through in less than a minute with an angle grinder. So what is your point here? The new Hiplok will have a higher rating than Bicycle Diamond (Diamond Motorcycle) to reflect the extra level of security.

      The rating systems are relative not absolute.

      If you use 4 TiGr Mini locks you may have saved 300 grams of weight but you will have reduced the number of places you’ll be able to lock your bike. These are the pros and cons we all need to think about before we buy a lock.

      I hope that’s helpful!

      Thanks

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